#ReflectionandProgression #HowToHealFromNarcissisticAbuse #HowToGetOverANarcissist 50 Reasons The Narcissist Is Trying to Come Back https://youtu.be/da97AV0bf2c 50 Reasons NOT to Go Back To the Narcissist https://youtu.be/hSgYUhY3xNI
Jon takes examines Phil Vischer’s video “Race in America.”
The Judgment of Solomon is a story from the Hebrew Bible in which King Solomon of Israel ruled between two women both claiming to be the mother of a child. Solomon revealed their true feelings and relationship to the child by suggesting to cut the baby in two, with each woman to receive half. With this strategy, he was able to discern the non-mother as the woman who entirely approved of this proposal, while the actual mother begged that the sword might be sheathed and the child committed to the care of her rival. Some consider this approach to justice an archetypal example of an impartial judge displaying wisdom in making a ruling.
1 Kings 3:16–28 recounts that two mothers living in the same house, each the mother of an infant son, came to Solomon. One of the babies had been smothered, and each claimed the remaining boy as her own. Calling for a sword, Solomon declared his judgment: the baby would be cut in two, each woman to receive half. One mother did not contest the ruling, declaring that if she could not have the baby then neither of them could, but the other begged Solomon, “Give the baby to her, just don’t kill him!”
The king declared the second woman the true mother, as a mother would even give up her baby if that was necessary to save its life. This judgment became known throughout all of Israel and was considered an example of profound wisdom.
Classification and parallels
The story is commonly viewed in scholarship as an instance or a reworking of a folktale. Its folkloristic nature is apparent, among other things, in the dominance of direct speech which moves the plot on and contributes to the characterization. The story is classified as Aarne-Thompson tale type 926, and many parallel stories have been found in world folklore. In Uther’s edition of the Aarne-Thompson index, this tale type is classified as a folk novella, and belongs to a subgroup designated: “Clever Acts and Words“. Eli Yassif defines the folk novella as “a realistic story whose time and place are determined … The novella emphasizes such human traits as cleverness, eroticism, loyalty, and wiliness, that drive the plot forward more than any other element”.
Hugo Gressmann has found 22 similar stories in world folklore and literature, especially in India and the far east. One Indian version is a Jataka story dealing with Buddha in one of his previous incarnations as the sage Mahosadha, who arbitrates between a mother and a Yakshini who is in the shape of a woman, who kidnapped the mother’s baby and claimed he was hers. The sage announced a tug war: He drew a line on the ground and asked the two to stand on opposite sides of the line, one holding his feet and the other his hands – The one who would pull the baby’s whole body beyond the line would get him. The mother, seeing how the baby suffers, released him and let the Yakshini take him, weeping. When the sage saw that, he turned the baby back to the hands of the true mother, exposed the identity of the Yakshini and expelled her. In other Indian versions the two women are widows of one husband. Another version appears in the Chinese drama The Chalk Circle (in this version the judge draws a circle on the ground), which has been widespread all over the world and many versions and reworkings were made after it, among them The Caucasian Chalk Circle, a play by Bertolt Brecht.
The common motif in those different parallels is that the wise judge announces an absurd procedure, which is reasonable in some perverse way: Splitting the baby, according to the principle of compromise; Or a tug war, in which one can possibly assume that the true mother will be motivated to pull harder. But this procedure is actually a concealed emotional test, designed to force each woman to decide whether her compassion to the baby overpowers her will to win.
There is indirect evidence that the story was widespread in ancient times in the western world too. A Greek papyrus fragment, dating from the beginning of the second century AD, includes a fragmented reference to an ancient legal case which is similar to the judgment of Solomon. The writer ascribes the story to Phliliskos of Miletos, living in the fourth century BC. A fresco found in the “House of the Physician” in Pompeii depicts pygmies introducing a scene similar to the biblical story. Some think that the fresco relates directly to the biblical story, while according to others it represents a parallel tradition.
Several suggestions for the genre of the biblical story have been raised, beyond its characterization as a folktale of a known type. Edward Lipinski suggests that the story is an example of “king’s bench tales”, a subgenre of the wisdom literature to which he finds parallels in Sumerian literature.
Scholars have pointed out that the story resembles the modern detective story genre. Both king Solomon and the reader are confronted with some kind of a juridical-detective riddle. Meir Sternberg notes that two genres merge in the story: A riddle and a test; The juridical dilemma, which is the riddle, also constitutes a test for the young king: If he will solve it he will be acknowledged to possess divine wisdom. Stuart Lasine classifies the story as a law-court riddle.
According to Raymond Westbrook, the story is essentially a hypothetical problem, introduced to the recipient as a pure intellectual challenge and not as a concrete juridical case. In such problems, any unnecessary detail is usually omitted, and this is the reason why the characters in the story have no distinctive characteristics. Also, the description of the case eliminates the possibility to obtain circumstantial evidence, thereby forcing the recipient to confront the dilemma directly and not seek for indirect ways to solve it.
Some scholars think that the original folk story underwent significant literary reworking so that in its biblical crystallization it can no longer be defined as a folktale. Jacob Liver notes the absence of any “local coloring” in the story, and concludes that the story is “not an actual folk tale but a scholarly reworking of a folk tale (apparently from a non-Israelite source) which in some way reached the court circles of Jerusalem in the times of Solomon”. Similarly, Jeev Weisman characterizes it as “a wisdom anecdote which originated in the court circles”.
The story has a number of parallels in folktales from various cultures. All of the known parallels, among them several from India, have been recorded in later periods than the biblical story; nevertheless, it is unclear as to whether they reflect earlier or later traditions. Hermann Gunkel rules out the possibility that such a sophisticated motif had developed independently in different places. Some scholars are of the opinion that the source of the story is untraceable.
In the biblical version, the two women are identified as prostitutes, as opposed to some Indian versions in which they are widows of one husband. Some scholars have inferred from this difference as to the origin of the story. Following Gressmann, Gunkel speculates a possible Indian origin, on the basis that “[s]uch stories of wise judgments are the real life stuff of the Indian people”, and that, in his view, “a prostitute has no reason to value a child which was not born to her“; he acknowledges, however, that the Indian versions “belong to a later period”. On the other hand, Lasine opines that the Hebrew story is better motivated than the Indian one, for it is the only one in which the motivation for the behavior of both women is rooted in typical motherly feelings: compassion for the true mother, and jealousy for the impostor. Other scholars point out that such a travelling folktale might become, in its various forms, more or less coherent; the assertion that one version is more coherent than the other does not compel the conclusion that the first is more original. Consequently, the argument as to which version’s women had more compelling reasons to fight over the child would be irrelevant.
Composition and editorial framing
The story is considered to be literarily unified, without significant editorial intervention. The ending of the story, noting the wisdom of Solomon, is considered to be a Deuteronomistic addition to the text.
Some scholars consider the story an originally independent unit, integrated into its present context by an editor. Solomon’s name is not mentioned in the story, and he is simply called “the king”. Considered out of context, the story leaves the king anonymous just like the other characters. Some scholars think that the original tale was not necessarily about Solomon, and perhaps dealt with a typical unnamed king. A different opinion is held by Eli Yassif, who thinks that the author of the Book of Kings did not attribute the story to Solomon on his own behalf, but the attribution to Solomon had already developed in preliterary tradition.
Scholars point out that the story is linked to the preceding account of Solomon’s dream in Gibeon, by the common pattern of prophetic dream and its subsequent fulfillment. Some think this proximity of the stories results from the work of a redactor. Others, such as Saul Zalewski, consider the two accounts to be inseparable and to form a literarily unified unit.
In its broader context, the Judgment of Solomon forms part of the account of Solomon’s reign, generally conceived as a distinct segment in the Book of Kings, compassing chapters 3–11 in 1 Kings; Some include in it also chapters 1–2, while others think that these chapters originally ended the account of David’s reign in 2 Samuel. According to Liver, the source for the Judgment of Solomon story, as well as other parts of the account of Solomon’s reign, is in the speculated book of the Acts of Solomon, which he proposes to be a wisdom work which originated in the court circles shortly after the split of the united monarchy.
The story may be divided to two parts similar in length, matching the trial’s sequence. In the first part (verses 16–22) the case is described: The two women introduce their arguments, and at this point, no response from the king is recorded. In the second part (23–28) the decision is described: the king is the major speaker and the one who directs the plot. Apart from this clear twofold division, suggestions have been raised as to the plot structure and the literary structure of the story and its internal relations.
As stated before, most of the story is reported by direct speech of the women and Solomon, with a few sentences and utterance verbs by the narrator. The dialogues move the plot forward. The women’s contradictory testimonies create the initial conflict necessary to build up the dramatic tension. The king’s request to bring him a sword enhances the tension, as the reader wonders why it is needed. The story comes to its climax with the shocking royal order to cut the boy, which for a moment casts doubt on the king’s judgment. But what seems to be the verdict turns out to be a clever trick which achieves its goal, and results in the recognition of the true mother and the resolution.
The major overt purpose of the account of Solomon’s reign, to which the Judgment of Solomon belongs as stated above, is to glorify King Solomon, and his wisdom is one of the account’s dominant themes. The exceptions are: The first two chapters (1 Kings 1–2), which according to many scholars portray a dubious image of Solomon, and as stated above, are sometimes ascribed to a separate work; And the last chapter in the account (11), which describes Solomon’s sins in his old age. Nevertheless, many scholars point out to elements in the account that criticize Solomon, anticipating his downfall in chapter 11.
In its immediate context, the story follows the account of Solomon’s dream at Gibeon, in which he was promised by God to be given unprecedented wisdom. Most scholars read the story at face value, and conclude that its major purpose is to demonstrate the fulfillment of the divine promise and to illustrate Solomon’s wisdom expressed in a juridical form. Yet some scholars recognize in this story too, as in other parts of the account of Solomon’s reign, ironic elements which are not consistent with the story’s overt purpose to glorify Solomon.
Some scholars assume, as mentioned, that the story had existed independently before it was integrated into its current context. Willem Beuken think that the original tale was not about the king’s wisdom – the concluding note about Solomon’s wisdom is considered secondary – but about a woman who, by listening to her motherly instinct, helped the king to break through the legal impasse. Beuken notes additional biblical stories which share the motif of the woman who influenced the king: Bathsheba, the woman of Tekoa, and Solomon’s foreign wives who seduced him into idolatry. Beuken concludes that the true mother exemplifies the biblical character type of the wise woman. He proposes an analysis of the literary structure of the story, according to which the section that notes the compassion of the true mother (verse 26b) constitutes one of the two climaxes of the story, along with the section that announces Solomon’s divine wisdom (verse 28b). According to this analysis, the story in its current context gives equal weight to the compassion of the true mother and to the godly wisdom that guided Solomon in the trial.
According to Marvin Sweeney, in its original context, as part of the Deuteronomistic history, the story exalted Solomon as a wise ruler and presented him as a model to Hezekiah. Later, the narrative context of the story has undergone another Deuteronomistic redaction that has undermined Solomon’s figure in comparison to Josiah. In its current context, the story implicitly criticizes Solomon for violating the biblical law that sets the priests and Levites on top of the judicial hierarchy (Deuteronomy 17:8–13).
Several stories in the Hebrew Bible bear similarity to the Judgment of Solomon, and scholars think they allude to it.
The most similar story is that of the two cannibal mothers in 2 Kings 6:24–33, which forms part of the Elisha cycle. The background is a famine in Samaria, caused by a siege on the city. As the king passes through the city, a woman calls him and asks him to decide in a quarrel between her and another woman: The two women had agreed to cook and eat the son of one woman, and on the other day to do the same with the son of the other woman; but after they ate the first woman’s son, the other woman hid her own son. The king, shocked from the description of the case, tore up his royal cloth and revealed that he was wearing sackcloth beneath it. He blamed Elisha for the circumstances and went on to chase him.
There are some striking similarities between this story and the Judgment of Solomon. Both deal with nameless women who gave birth to a son. One of the son dies, and a quarrel erupts as to the fate of the other one. The case is brought before the king to decide. According to Lasine, the comparison between the stories emphasize the absurdity of the situation in the story of the cannibal mothers: While in the Judgment of Solomon, the king depend on his knowledge of maternal nature to decide the case, the story of the cannibal women describe a “topsy-turvy” world in which maternal nature does not work as expected, thus leaving the king helpless.
The women’s characters
Like many other women in the Hebrew Bible, the two women in this story are anonymous. It is speculated their names have not been mentioned so that they would not overshadow Solomon’s wisdom, which is the main theme of the story. The women seem to be poor. They live alone in a shared residence, without servants. The women have been determined to be prostitutes. As prostitutes, they lack male patronage and have to take care of themselves in a patriarchal society.
The women’s designation as prostitutes is necessary as background to the plot: It clarifies why the women live alone, gave birth alone and were alone during the alleged switch of the babies; The lack of witnesses seems to create a legal impasse that only the wise king can solve. It also clarifies why the women are not represented by their husbands, as is customary in biblical society. Solomon is depicted as a king accessible to all of his subjects, even those in the margins of society. The women’s designation as prostitutes links the story to the common biblical theme of God as the protector of the weak, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows” (Psalms 68:5). Prostitutes in biblical society are considered functional widows, for they have no male patron to represent them in court, and their sons are considered fatherless. They also bear similarity to the proselyte, who is sometimes mentioned in the Hebrew Bible with the widow and the fatherless, in that they are socially marginalized and deprived of the right to advocacy. They can only seek justice from one place: God, embodied in the story as the source of Solomon’s wisdom.
The women are not explicitly condemned for their occupation, and some think that the narrator does not intend to discredit them for being prostitutes, and their conduct should be judged against universal human standards. On the other hand, Phyllis Bird thinks that the story presupposes the stereotypical biblical image of the prostitute as a selfish liar. The true mother is revealed when her motherly essence – which is also stereotypical – surpasses her selfish essence. Athalya Brenner notes that both women’s maternal instinct is intact: For the true mother it is manifested, as mentioned, in the compassion and devotion that she shows for her son; And for the impostor it is manifested in her desire for a son, which makes her steal the other mother’s son when her own son dies. According to Brenner, one of the lessons of the story is that “true maternal feelings … may exist even in the bosom of the lowliest woman”.
The women are designated in the Hebrew text as zōnōṯ (זוֹנוֹת), which is the plural form of the adjective zōnâ (זוֹנָה), prostitute. However, some propose a different meaning for this word in the context of the story, such as “tavern owner” or “innkeeper”. These proposals are usually dismissed as apologetic. Jerome T. Walsh combines the two meanings, and suggests that in ancient Near East, some prostitutes also provided lodging services (cf. the story of Rahab).
Comparison to detective literature
As mentioned before, many scholars have compared the story to the modern genre of detective story. A striking feature in the biblical story, untypical to its parallels, is that it does not begin with a credible report of the omniscient narrator about the events that took place before the trial; It immediately opens with the women’s testimonies. Thus, the reader is unable to determine whether the account given by the plaintiff is true or false, and he confronts, along with Solomon, a juridical-detective riddle. According to Sternberg, the basic convention shared by the Judgment of Solomon and the detective story genre is the “fair-play rule”, which states that both the reader and the detective figure are exposed to the same relevant data.
Lasine, dealing with the story from a sociological perspective, points out that like the detective story, the Judgment of Solomon story deals with human “epistemological anxiety” deriving from the fact that man, as opposed to God, is generally unable to know what is in the mind of other men. The detective story, as well as this biblical story, provides a comfort to this anxiety with the figure of the detective, or Solomon in this case: A master of human nature, a man who can see into the depths of one’s soul and extract the truth from within it. This capability is conceived as a superhuman quality, inasmuch as Solomon’s wisdom in judgment is described as a gift from God. There is an ambiguity concerning the question whether such a capability may serve as a model for others, or it is unavailable to ordinary men.
By the end of the story, Solomon reveals the identity of the true mother. But according to the Hebrew text, while the king solves the riddle, the reader is not exposed to the solution; Literally translated from the Hebrew text, Solomon command reads: “Give her the living child…”. One cannot infer from this wording whether the word “her” refers to the plaintiff or to the defendant, as the narrator remains silent on the matter.
According to the Midrash, the two women were mother- and daughter-in-law, both of whom had borne sons and whose husbands had died. The lying daughter-in-law was obligated by the laws of Yibbum to marry her brother-in-law unless released from the arrangement through a formal ceremony. As her brother-in-law was the living child, she was required to marry him when he came of age or wait the same amount of time to be released and remarry. When Solomon suggested splitting the infant in half, the lying woman, wishing to escape the constraints of Yibbum in the eyes of God, agreed. Thus was Solomon able to know who the real mother was.
Representations in art
This theme has long been a popular subject for artists and is often chosen for the decoration of courthouses. In the Netherlands, many 17th century courthouses (Vierschaar rooms) contain a painting or relief of this scene. Elsewhere in Europe, celebrated examples include:
- Fresco by Raphael
- The Judgement of Solomon by William Blake
- Etching by Gustave Doré
- Woodcut by the school of Michael Wolgemut in the Nuremberg Chronicle
- Paintings by Andrea Mantegna, Poussin and Franz Caucig
- Relief sculpture on the Doge’s Palace in Venice by an unknown artist (near the exit into St. Mark’s Square)
- Stained glass window by Jean Chastellain in St-Gervais-et-St-Protais church of Paris
Marc-Antoine Charpentier : Judicium Salomonis H 422, Oratorio for soloists, chorus, woodwinds, strings, and bc. (1702)
Giacomo Carissimi : Judicium Salomonis, Oratorio for 3 chorus, 2 violins and organ.
The scene has been the subject of television episodes of Dinosaurs, Recess, The Simpsons (where a pie was substituted for the baby), the Netflix animated series, All Hail King Julien, where a pineapple is cut in two to settle a dispute, the Seinfeld episode “The Seven“, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. It has influenced other artistic disciplines, e.g. Bertolt Brecht‘s play The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Ronnie snatching Kat’s baby in EastEnders.
The HIM song “Shatter Me With Hope” includes the line “We’ll tear this baby apart, wise like Solomon”.
The Tool song “Right in Two” slightly paraphrases the scene and includes the lyric “Cut and divide it all right in two”.
Imagining Covid under a normal president.
This week I had a conversation that left a mark. It was with Mary Louise Kelly and E.J. Dionne on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and it was about how past presidents had handled moments of national mourning — Lincoln after Gettysburg, Reagan after the Challenger explosion and Obama after the Sandy Hook school shootings.
The conversation left me wondering what America’s experience of the pandemic would be like if we had a real leader in the White House.
If we had a real leader, he would have realized that tragedies like 100,000 Covid-19 deaths touch something deeper than politics: They touch our shared vulnerability and our profound and natural sympathy for one another.
In such moments, a real leader steps outside of his political role and reveals himself uncloaked and humbled, as someone who can draw on his own pains and simply be present with others as one sufferer among a common sea of sufferers.
If we had a real leader, she would speak of the dead not as a faceless mass but as individual persons, each seen in unique dignity. Such a leader would draw on the common sources of our civilization, the stores of wisdom that bring collective strength in hard times.
Lincoln went back to the old biblical cadences to comfort a nation. After the church shooting in Charleston, Barack Obama went to “Amazing Grace,” the old abolitionist anthem that has wafted down through the long history of African-American suffering and redemption.
In his impromptu remarks right after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy recalled the slaying of his own brother and quoted Aeschylus: “In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”
If we had a real leader, he would be bracingly honest about how bad things are, like Churchill after the fall of Europe. He would have stored in his upbringing the understanding that hard times are the making of character, a revelation of character and a test of character. He would offer up the reality that to be an American is both a gift and a task. Every generation faces its own apocalypse, and, of course, we will live up to our moment just as our ancestors did theirs.
If we had a real leader, she would remind us of our common covenants and our common purposes. America is a diverse country joined more by a common future than by common pasts. In times of hardships real leaders re-articulate the purpose of America, why we endure these hardships and what good we will make out of them.
After the Challenger explosion, Reagan reminded us that we are a nation of explorers and that the explorations at the frontiers of science would go on, thanks in part to those who “slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.”
At Gettysburg, Lincoln crisply described why the fallen had sacrificed their lives — to show that a nation “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” can long endure and also to bring about “a new birth of freedom” for all the world.
Of course, right now we don’t have a real leader. We have Donald Trump, a man who can’t fathom empathy or express empathy, who can’t laugh or cry, love or be loved — a damaged narcissist who is unable to see the true existence of other human beings except insofar as they are good or bad for himself.
But it’s too easy to offload all blame on Trump. Trump’s problem is not only that he’s emotionally damaged; it is that he is unlettered. He has no literary, spiritual or historical resources to draw upon in a crisis.
All the leaders I have quoted above were educated under a curriculum that put character formation at the absolute center of education. They were trained by people who assumed that life would throw up hard and unexpected tests, and it was the job of a school, as one headmaster put it, to produce young people who would be “acceptable at a dance, invaluable in a shipwreck.”
Think of the generations of religious and civic missionaries, like Frances Perkins, who flowed out of Mount Holyoke. Think of all the Morehouse Men and Spelman Women. Think of all the young students, in schools everywhere, assigned Plutarch and Thucydides, Isaiah and Frederick Douglass — the great lessons from the past on how to lead, endure, triumph or fail. Only the great books stay in the mind for decades and serve as storehouses of wisdom when hard times come.
Right now, science and the humanities should be in lock step: science producing vaccines, with the humanities stocking leaders and citizens with the capacities of resilience, care and collaboration until they come. But, instead, the humanities are in crisis at the exact moment history is revealing how vital moral formation really is.
One of the lessons of this crisis is that help isn’t coming from some centralized place at the top of society. If you want real leadership, look around you.
Students at Liberty University are more likely than most to understand the specialness of this biblical lesson. It is one of the few stories in which Falwell should not be assigned the part of an ass. For that matter, he does not even deserve the role of Balaam, who at least was open to instruction. Instead, Falwell has charged the angel straight on and — in defiance of nearly all public health experts — reopened the Liberty dorms in the middle of a pandemic. Now, according to the New York Times, at least one student has tested positive and several more have shown coronavirus-like symptoms.
Falwell played down the risk to students who might get the disease. “Ninety-nine percent of them are not at the age to be at risk,” he argued last week, “and they don’t have conditions that put them at risk.”
But this public response indicates the staggering level of ignorance that informs Falwell’s leadership. It is possible for students with mild or unnoticeable symptoms to spread the disease. And once cases are discovered, it is generally too late to take preventive action. Yes, the fatality rate of infected college students is likely to be low. Yet places with broad community spread are more likely to see infection of the elderly and vulnerable, who are more likely to fill premature graves. Since when has Liberty University embraced the teaching of Social Darwinism in Ethics 101?
What can’t be disputed is the constant churn of mixed messages that Falwell has contributed to our national debate. His stated intention has been to concentrate Liberty’s student population: “I think we, in a way, are protecting the students by having them on campus together.”
It can’t be disputed that Falwell personally welcomed hundreds of students back to campus after Spring Break. “They were talking about being glad to be back,” he recalled. “I was joking how they pretty much had the whole place to themselves, and I told them to enjoy it.”
It can’t be disputed that Falwell has called the national pandemic response an “overreaction” with political motivations. “Impeachment didn’t work,” he claimed, “and the Mueller report didn’t work and Article 25 didn’t work, and so maybe now this is their next attempt to get Trump.”
It can’t be disputed that Falwell went on Fox News and speculated that the coronavirus might have been the work of the North Korean military.
It can’t be disputed that Falwell called one critic a “dummy,” even though he is the parent of Liberty students. Or that Falwell has dismissed a critical professor named Marybeth Davis Baggett as “the ‘Baggett’ lady.’ ”
There is an old Bob Dylan song titled, “Gotta Serve Somebody.” Who is Falwell serving instead of students, parents, staff, his board and the Lynchburg, Va., community? Let’s see.
- Falwell has contempt for the weak. He is
- dismissive of experts. H
- traffics in conspiracy theories. He
- attacks his critics with infantile putdowns and demeaning names. And he
- refuses to admit when he is dangerously wrong.
Who does that sound like? It is on the tip of my tongue.
In this case Falwell has gone even further than the president, who is occasionally forced, under duress, to say sane things about the virus. Falwell seems to want credit from President Trump for drinking the most distilled, concentrated, rotgut form of the Kool-Aid.
He blunders toward blasphemy by insisting that he is being persecuted for his religious beliefs. “We’re conservative,” he claims, “we’re Christian, and therefore we’re being attacked.” But any path that ignores the truth and endangers the vulnerable can’t be called the way of Christ. No, there is only one explanation: Falwell has laid down the cross to follow Trump.
John Fea’s Virtual Office Hours: U.S. History Survey Edition – Episode 18
welcome history 141 students John Filion
here for the virtual office hours this
is your weekly update on lectures and
all things u.s. survey to 1865 our
trusted producer megan p.m. is here with
us as usual by the way if you haven’t
watched all of episode 17 go to the end
and you’ll see Megan and her Napoleon
costume for Halloween I think I even put
that on the blog too if someone can
follow the way of improvement leto but
today we’re coming up on an exam so I
want to do one more office hour just to
cover the last two lectures in class
where we’ve been talking about
Jeffersonian America and one of the
things are several things that I want
you to think about as we think about our
man here Thomas Jefferson I’m going to
be playing around with these Pez
dispensers a little bit today remember
Jefferson really sees his election in
1800 as it almost a second revolution
the revolution of 1800 he disagrees with
many of the policies of the Federalists
presidents and go back and look at my
fabulous one versus fabulous two bonus
track that we did last week just to make
sure you know what I’m talking about
when I refer to these Federalists but
here they are Washington and John Adams
we don’t have Alexander Hamilton because
he wasn’t a president intends doesn’t
make that Alexander Hamilton dispenser
although if anyone out there finds an
Alexander Hamilton dispenser or any
other founders for that matter send him
along and we’ll add him to the group but
obviously Jefferson does not like the
way in which the 1790s went and he is
really sees his presidency as a sort of
new birth of Liberty we’re at the
Enlightenment Liberty moving forward you
know going against the tyranny of the
Federalists right that George George the
third it’s not George the third this
time is George Washington
and the whiskey rebellion and their
vision for America of course Jefferson’s
vision much more area much more
spreading out via land much more
concerned about the common farmer so
he’s elected in 1800 and we spent some
time talking about his administration we
talked about his first term in which the
Louisiana territory Lisa Hanna purchase
is really the pinnacle of that first
term when you think about the Louisiana
territory don’t just think about it as a
huge land mass right that’s certainly
the basic stuff that you need to know
but think about the meaning of that
think about the political meaning of it
right Jefferson is wants to spread the
country westward he wants to establish
in many ways places in the west where
more and more common people are going to
go and get access to land land equals
independence land equals the American
dream so it’s the purchase of Louisiana
fits very well into his political vision
for the country and of course the
Federalists don’t like this at all
because they’re worried that well what
are you gonna do you’re gonna
Jefferson’s going to establish all these
new states out in Louisiana they’re
going to be you know they’re not going
to like the Federalists in these new
states and we’re going to basically you
know disappear from the face of the
political landscape and of course that’s
pretty much what happens so the
Federalists are very much aware this is
this is in the works also realize the
constitutional debates over over the
Louisiana Purchase and I think I made a
quick comment in class that here in
these very early years and it’s always
it’s not much like we have it today
people use the Constitution interpret
the Constitution either loosely or
strictly to basically get what they want
out of the Constitution and Jefferson
clearly is doing this when he when he
takes a very loose interpretation of the
of the Constitution saying i think the
Constitution doesn’t forbid me from
buying this territory as a president so
I can do it
so you have the Louisiana territory talk
a little bit about Lewis and Clark some
of the things associated with their
mission a mission force both scientific
exploration and the declaration of
political power or sovereignty one is
fairly successful to scientific the
political announcement to these Indian
tribes that America now owns this land
and that one doesn’t go go as well as
Jefferson would like but go back and
look at you know some of the things we
said about that expedition we talked a
little bit about Sacagawea and the way
she’s been portrayed in American culture
the second term for Jefferson not so
good foreign policy problems he finds
himself again in a situation in which
the europe is not respecting the neutral
rights of the Americans Britain
especially as impressing American ships
and I think to Jefferson’s credit and
again we can debate this but I don’t
want you to perceive Jefferson to sort
of be a wimp on this I tend to see him
more is trying to come up with a
peaceful solution to stop the
impressment of ship so the United States
doesn’t have to go to war unfortunately
the result is the embargo act of 1807
which becomes another disaster for the
United States and especially hurts the
common people in the common farmers who
tend to vote for Jefferson so understand
why the Embargo Act fails understands
jeffers this is Jefferson’s major
attempt to to deal with these problems
of impressment in the seas and
especially in and around the Caribbean
and the West Indies so by the time
Jefferson leaves office remember when I
said he doesn’t even list the presidency
as one of his major accomplishments on
his tombstone he says I wrote the
Declaration of Independence I founded
the University of Virginia I wrote the
Virginia statute of liberty licious
Liberty but he never quite saw his
presidency as one of his great achieve
greatest achievements i should say in
life so Jefferson successor where is he
here James Madison he comes on the scene
1808 he had 1809 he has to basically
deal with all the problems that
Jefferson left him and really now has to
deal with this what you know this kind
of perfect storm leading to war one you
had these young congressman Calhoun
Webster clay the Warhawks who are saying
enough of this we need to assert
ourselves we need to go to war with
Britain until they stop a crema and
pressing our ships and until they start
respecting our neutral rights you have
to come sit and the Prophet incident out
on the frontier where there’s rumors
that to come say is actually working for
the British and then you have of course
the third the impressment of British
ships this storm this threefold stole
these three storms sort of coming
together leads the United States into
war and after the exam are actually on
Friday we’ll talk a little bit more this
week will actually talk a little bit
more about the consequences and the
implications of the war of 1812 and how
that shapes what’s going to what’s going
to happen in the future so hopefully
you’ll do well in the exam go go look at
your notes about the office hours and so
forth you know prepare well and if you I
always say this if you don’t believe in
luck i should say good luck and if you
don’t believe in luck may God
providentially give you the grades you
deserve this exam and i will see you on
Kristin Saylor and Jim O’Hanlon talks about what the Bible really says about homosexuality and other LGBTQ topics.
The Rev. Kristin Saylor is an Episcopal priest, currently serving St. Peter’s Church in Port Chester, NY. Originally from Wisconsin, she is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Virginia Theological Seminary. She and her husband reside in the Bronx and enjoy availing themselves of New York City’s many cultural and culinary delights.
Jim O’Hanlon has been a Pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America since 2000, of St. Paul’s Church in Rye Brook since 2010.
Raised in a large, Irish, Roman Catholic family, Jim has a keen interest in the liturgical, social and church reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. Jim joined the the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America because of its witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the inclusion of women, Gays and Lesbians and all people in full participation and leadership in the church.
After college he earned a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in NYC and subsequently a Master of Sacred Theology from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He completed several graduate courses in Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. He serves on various boards including the Port Chester Council of Community Services and the LGBT Advisory Council for the County Executive. He enjoys collaborating with colle